Table: ...And Washington Has Some Concerns
MONTI'S DEFENSE:WASHINGTON COMPLAINT: Monti favors competitors over consumers.MONTI: That's a false dichotomy. More competition is good for consumers.WASHINGTON: While Washington must prepare every antitrust case for court, Monti can rule by fiat, with few checks and balances.MONTI: The Competition Commissioner has to convince other commissioners and member states. And the European court has teeth, though it takes up cases years after the decision.WASHINGTON: Monti's staff is packed with zealous career regulators who have never worked in the private sector.MONTI: Yes, but they're smart, they're pros, and--with the exception of GE-Honeywell--they've worked harmoniously with Washington.WASHINGTON: Monti wants to hijack global antitrust, establishing European standards.MONTI: Nonsense. The heritage of antitrust is American, and despite occasional differences, Europe is moving toward U.S. norms.WASHINGTON: Monti is anti-business.MONTI: From his university post in Milan, he was long a leading advocate of free markets in an Italian economy dominated by the state. He has served on the boards of leading companies, from Fiat to Generali.WASHINGTON: Monti ignores economic analysis, tending to fall for worst-case scenarios.MONTI: Why would an economist ignore economics? True, the analysis came out differently in GE-Honeywell, but in 98% of the cases, Washington and Brussels agree.